As school starts back and the days get shorter, we know that fall is just around the corner. Though here in North Carolina the weather hasn’t cooled down quite yet, we’re already thinking about the autumn, and the best tips for getting our clients’ yards ready for winter.
Follow this quick checklist this fall to protect your grass and growth throughout the colder months, and allow your yard to emerge at its fullest potential next spring.
- Overseed and fertilize grass. Because winter is when grass is more vulnerable, give your yard all the nutrients it needs to make it through the frosts, snows, sleets, and overall cold. If your yard is sparse, get a head start on spring by seeding now. If you wait until spring, you may find that growth is taking longer than you hoped. When your neighbors have lush, green yards, your may still be patchy as you wait for the later-seeded grass to finally grow.
- Water your yard. Especially in the sunny south it’s important to remember to continue watering your lawn throughout the fall. Well hydrated lawns survive the winter better, just like well fertilized ones do. When rain is scant, make up for the lack of hydration by watering deeply and infrequently (versus just a little bit every day).
- Keep mowing. Grass doesn’t stop growing when the kids go back to school! Keep up with your mowing, even as it gets cooler. Grass growth slows during the colder months, but rarely stops altogether, so you may find yourself mowing for a few more months. Going into the colder months, trim grass a little shorter, but don’t give your lawn a buzz cut! Two to two-and-one-half inches of grass is a good amount to keep your lawn healthy through winter, and will allow it to start growing faster and lusher when the cold breaks.
- Rake, blow, or vacuum leaves. It’s annoying. It’s almost everyone’s least favorite fall chore, but raking up fallen leaves is important to the health of your yard. If you’ve ever skipped leaf removal, you know what can happen under that dank carpet of old leaves. Not only do small animals make shelters or hide in the leaf piles, but old, soggy leaves attract bugs, get mildewy and moldy, and will eventually stifle and kill all growth underneath them like a wet blanket. If you have a lot of trees and leaf removal is a challenge, we’re glad to come out and help you take care of your leaves this fall.
- Cut back flowers and protect delicate plants. In your yard maintenance, don’t forget about your garden, planters, and flower beds. Cut back summer blooms as they fade, and protect any non-hardy outdoor plants. This may mean covering them or bringing them inside as the temperatures begin to drop past 40 degrees at night. Newer plants and succulents definitely should be covered or brought inside for winter.
- Get rid of weeds. It may be surprising but most weeds like dandelions are so sturdy and strong that winter weather won’t kill them. Though they might fade for a few months, if you don’t get rid of the weeds in the fall, rest assured, their ghosts will be back to haunt you when spring comes. Go ahead and get rid of weeds now so when your yard and garden begins springing back to life in the warmer months, it can do so unimpaired by unsightly weeds.
Does this list seem like a lot to accomplish? Give us a call and let us help you tackle your autumn yard maintenance. You’ll be glad you asked for the help when spring comes and your yard can flourish and grow because you planned ahead!